X Factor – Motown Songs To Get You In The Final Week

BARLOW UNLEASHED!

Misha B – The B Stands For Believe. Also Bisto: No, really, it was all about Gary this week wasn’t it? I imagine he saw himself fulfilling the role that Louis should really be fulfilling rather than retreating into the safe comforting bath of Louis catchphrases and smug meta that he has – the judge who tells it like it is, because all his acts are gone. Of course, in a way they are, because whatever direction the Marcus-train is heading in, it’s out of his hands now. So Misha? Got the benefit of his full Gregory Peck “To Kill A Mockingbird” courtroom sequence, with Tulisa and Louis cast the Mayella and Bob Ewell who traduced poor Misha’s opinion and ruined her forever. I don’t know who Boo Radley was. Maybe Craig? Anyway, Misha B was of course doomed regardless of what Gary said (and of course him heavily lampshading that she had no chance of winning was an extra spike driven in) and of what she did, so I can’t help thinking that what she did should have been better than a piss-weak version of “Dancin’ In The Steet” (*yawn*) and a Pink ballid. Oh and a Jessie J sing-off and a goodbye rap name-checking such genre-pioneers as Dermot O’Leary and waffle about her rollercoaster journey blah blah blah. If only her departure didn’t, despite all this, herald the worst X Factor Final 3 since the hell-days of Series 1.

Amelia Lily – She’s Dead Silly: Amelia probably got it worst from Barlow didn’t she? Of course the Little Mix fans are more numerous, and therefore more bonkers, at this point, so his dissing them was probably more at the root of all those people suddenly deciding that Gary is a SMUG TWAT WHO I REALLY USED TO LIKE BUT HAS RUINED HIS ENTIRE CAREER BY DOING THIS SHOW (like, the man recorded “Open Road”, don’t talk to him about career ruiners). But telling her her normal singing voice was crap, but her “shouting voice” (LOL) was really good at “cutting through” (such a compliment to pay!)? Laser-guided arsery, and only to be applauded. Really I haven’t disliked a performance as strongly as I disliked “Aint No Mountain High Enough” since the heady days of Laura White honking her way through soul classics. I knew we were onto a loser as soon as she said that the song was made famous by Marvin Gaye & Diana Ross. DON’T TRY AND BURY TAMMI TERRELL’S CONTRIBUTION TO MOTOWN ON MY WATCH, SHOW! But then she showed even less of an understanding of the song itself, washing every peak and trough out into the same dynamic of SHOUTING. As for the Avril Lavigne ballid…Well at least I know now what Tulisa’s been filling her musical education with that she feels she can ignore Aretha Franklin. Maybe if it was “Keep Holding On” (CHOON!) I’d be more sympathetic…

BixMix: Barlow’s final critique was reserved for Little Mix, with the comparatively mild sting of telling them that their vocals on “If I Were A Boy (I’d Do It Better Than You)” by Beyonce were sub-par for semifinalists. Which…they were in an ideal world where semifinalists on this show were able to sing well, but let’s face it, that hasn’t been true since Chico was almost a semifinalist, so whilst I applaud his idealism, it’s a moot point. Still, their voices were pretty ropey, but then given that St Tulisa sent them off to scale Mount Beyonce without even so much as a cheery St Bernard to guide them it’s no surprise they came back as a giant block of ice. I actually quite liked their first performance, if only because it felt like the sort of knocked-off half-considered “Motown Tribute” that Girls Aloud would release as a B-side or do in the Live Lounge or something, minus the hideous modernist “breakdown”. Obviously they would have cleaned up the vocals of whichever of the AnonyMixs it was that messed up the spoken word bit horribly, but for a BixMix performance these days I’ll take it. I AM regretting not starting a BixMix crying count though, as I feel as a mathematician I could have invented some whole new numbers up above infinity for people to study.

Marcus Collins: Can you imagine what it would have been like if some of the free-range Barlow wrath had been unleashed on Marcus this week? If he weren’t in Gary’s category, which he is contractually obliged to pretend to care about? You’d have to think he’d have something to say about “Can You Feel It?” surely. Something about how he could feel it, more specifically the flat notes, on the brain, like an acid wash. Or he could have gone where no-one else has poked their little noses, apart from poor foolish Danni that one time and pointed out that him singing about how nothing makes him feel like sunshine on a cloudy day like his girl was fooling nobody? Either way it might have helped him course-correct before a final where he looks like a near-cert to finish second to BixMix as being emblematic of all those male winners like Joe McElderry who we definitely hate and who could never have had a career, silly us for voting for them *self-flagelate self-flagelate*

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4 thoughts on “X Factor – Motown Songs To Get You In The Final Week

  1. Carl

    All the Motown performances were death. Singing those the same way as the originals means capturing something these people just aren’t capable of, especially live. I don’t know why they would devote half the show to this so late in the series. Then again I hated most of the “modern” song choices so I don’t know what to say. Just bring Same Difference back.

    Gary’s right about Amelia. Her worst flaw is she just has no musicality. Both her songs were hurtful to the ear, extremely sharp, changing tone so often – half the time she sounded like a Carrie Underwood impersonator and the other half like a Carrie Underwood impersonator. I’m not sure why the show seems so determined to make so many of these girls look middle-aged. Amelia even had a resemblance to Lulu in that “I’m With You.”

    When Misha started her Pink dirge I thought she was on fire. Smoke was emanating from her body. Self-immolation – a meta statement of her fate on this show? When she spoke about how she’d just been going to school, I wondered if she can now that they tarnished her as some type of bully. What an awful song that was. I don’t know if Pink’s version is any better and I’m not sure I want to know. If you have to have a rap interlude then try “Square Biz” or “Genius of Love.” Anyway, I will miss her Pebbles-from-Flinstones hairstyle and her charisma, and, you know, her ability to sing in tune.

    Marcus…the worst time to have throat problems. As awful as that howling on the modern song was was I actually enjoyed it more than his last few weeks of performances. “My Girl” was a massacre.

    Little Mix – Jesy (I guess it’s Jesy) has the most horrific styling of anyone ever. In some of the “inspiration of Jessie J” clips she looked like she got tenth place in a Kylie lookalike contest from 1987. In the interview clips she looked like a Mary Jane Girl. In that Beyonce performance – which is a lousy song in the first place – she looked like Tammy Faye Bakker. She also looked half-dead. I could never see her eyes. Were they glued shut? The other blonde had a stronger voice than I remembered. Their Supremes performance just seemed sparse. I’m not sure why they let them go out there without any crazed dancers or tricks. It would have helped cover dead spots.

    I’m sorry for the pointless Hollyoaks references but Tulisa is starting to remind me of Clare. I’m not sure why.

    I’m also starting to find Barlow amusing, especially when he’s so totally dismissive of Louis, and not in the panto way, just the gnat-in-my-ear way. I also loved his brief encounter with Marcus and Robbie Williams (who has the same bad hair as Gary – they aren’t long lost twins are they?), as he very, very awkwardly tried to deliver “banter.” It was strangely endearing.

    Reply
    1. Carl

      “half the time she sounded like a Carrie Underwood impersonator and the other half like a Carrie Underwood impersonator”

      Sorry, that doesn’t make any sense. I had some witticism to put there. Never mind, I forgot it. This is why the recapping is better left to experts.

      At least this gives me a chance to say I’m glad to see someone else who loves Marvin and Tammi!

      Reply
    2. monkseal Post author

      I always find I like the weeks where I’m not a huge fan of the style being sung more than I like the weeks where I am. I always like the Country weeks on Idol for instance (although that’s more a lack of knowledge than anything else) and it’s probably why Big Band Week is always my favourite X Factor week. Odd performances of songs I love are good, but whole themes, like Motown Week? Death.

      With Little Mix I find if you know their name it’s either Perry or Jesy, and if it’s something embarrassing, it’s Jesy.

      Reply

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